Monday, April 14, 2014

Charlotte Mecklenburg Library is celebrating its 2014 community read week event with Ray Bradbury's Fahrenheit 451.  Various events are scheduled as everyone is encouraged to read--as possibly discuss at a scheduled library program--the classic science fiction title.  Click here for the events at area libraries and elsewhere. 

I had considered looking at the book for the mystery book club--as library book clubs were encouraged-- but our April date was set.  And the book is far from a standard mystery story so I don't want to buck our book club orientation.  All the same, this American classic fiction book is one worthy of reading, discussing and thought.

Monday, September 30, 2013

New Touch in Promoting New Books--

My library has had a much appreciated new fiction book section where a stand-alone bookshelf housed the new books, identified by its yellow dot stickers with a date marked on them.  Convenient, it was close to the circulation desk in the front of the building.  A reasonable set-up--this was the arrangement for years until several weeks ago.    

First the books were moved across the floor to into a corner lining the wall.  They are no longer close to the circulation desk.

(Photo by blogger)
Second the revamped display appeared with some new fiction books now separated by genre.  As you can see on the photograph above the new mystery books are now on their own shelf with a modest-looking black "MYSTERY" label to identify the shelf for the library user.  And since I work in a different library department, this change was unexpected for me.

In the previous location all fiction books were interfiled although a small sticker on the bottom identifying some by genre.  Today, certain books are filed together as "mystery," "science fiction" and so forth.  I like it. I'm satisfied about the ease for the casual book browser--including me--to quickly find a "new" library mystery book.     

Monday, September 09, 2013

Murder mystery at the library--

(Photo by blogger)

It seems to me that its been a while since my library did the ole book display with an outlined body on the floor to direct library users to mystery novels.  (And what better way is there to denote the murder scene than with an outlined body on the floor with if exact position at death, huh?)

Well, that idea has resurfaced as a special "staff picks" book shelf now has that display as shown to the left.  And a knife is included in this display to the far right (my photo was taken to just include the body outline)--the murder weapon?

My co-workers picked mysteries with a lighter--and sometimes comedic--flare in books by Joann Fluke, Charlaine Harris and Bill Crider.  Death is death so why enjoy a smile when reading about the evil-doing that would sicken us otherwise.

Friday, August 23, 2013

Elmore Leonard dies at 87--

A great figure in the crime fiction genre has died earlier this week in writer Elmore Leonard.  

A monster talent with success in writing for novels and some even later adapted in movies (I read he thought "Get Shorty" was one of the best efforts of transferring his novel to the big screen) and television (I'm a steady viewer of "Justified"), Leonard enjoyed a long writing career.  

Elmore Leonard
(photo from Google)
From the library's catalog under his "Raylan" book is the Author & Notes Sketches entry which reads: Elmore John Leonard, Jr., popularly known as mystery and western writer Elmore Leonard, was born in New Orleans, Louisiana on October 11, 1925. He served in the United States Naval Reserve from 1943 to 1946. He received a Ph.D. in English from the University of Detroit in 1950. After graduating, he wrote short stories and western novels as well as advertising and education film scripts. In 1967, he began to write full-time and received several awards including the 1977 Western Writers of America award and the 1984 Writers of America Edgar Allan Poe award. His other works include 
Get  Shorty, Out of Sight, Hombre, Mr. Majestyk, 3:10 to Yuma, and Rum Punch. Many of his works were adapted into movies. He successfully conquered alcoholism in the 1970s; details of his struggle with the bottle appear in author Dennis Wholey's 1986 book The Courage to Change. His title Raylan made The New York Times Best Seller List in 2012. Library of America recently announced plans to publish the first of a three-volume collection of his books beginning in the Fall of 2014. Leonard died on August 20, 2013 from complications of a stroke he had earlier. He was 87 years old. (Bowker Author Biography)

For a list of the library's holdings for Leonard (including novels, books on CD, movies, etc.), click here.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

The Unofficial Big Summer Beach Read?

Kudos to superstar writer J. K. Rowling for appearing to knock it out the park with her newest title The Cuckoo's Calling.  The "Harry Potter" author has managed a nice steal by writing under the pen name  Robert Galbraith  and garnering good buzz for the private investigator mystery novel.

When I first heard about the book this weekend on TV news (and the genuine news story now surrounding it) I missed the full title as I had hoped to place a hold on the book before the request list for copies by library users spiked up.  That didn't happen.  As of this moment, more than 40 copies of the book will be added to the Charlotte Mecklenburg Library system--to help fill 289 holds.

If I can take any solace, a co-worker placed a nice pristine copy of the book in my hands earlier today--before it went on its way to fill a library user's book request.  And Rowling got around to writing that rumored adult mystery.

Thursday, July 11, 2013

More with Newspaper Book Critic Salem Macknee--

(Salem Macknee during library program/
photo by blogger)
To read about a few titles from Salem Macknee's "Hot New Mystery Novels for the Summer" list from her program, click here.  The booklist features 11 novels currently available in the Charlotte Mecklenburg Library's catalog collection. 

With some books still be released, I'm certain that list would grow as the library system is able to add some books after their publication release date. 

Ms. Macknee's entire booklist includes 49 titles.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Newspaper Mystery Book Critic Salem Macknee Hosts Library Program

Salem Macknee holding paperback
mystery during library program
(photos by blogger)
On Thursday June 13th, The Charlotte Observer's Salem Macknee was the presenter for informative "Hot New Mystery Novels for the Summer" program at the library.  As billed, the evening showcased upcoming book titles in the mystery genre with a comprehensive breadth of the new novels for the season.

With a simple handout for program guests, Macknee zipped the list of titles and authors--some with a synopsis--from May through August.    And for any curious about Salem's favorite among the upcoming books--the first page of the handout is entitled "Salem's Top 12 for the Summer 2013."

Threatening weather didn't keep away a few hearty souls to attend the event which concluded with Macknee sharing a number of books from her work location as giveaways for those interested.

Salem going through
summer reading list
A long-time interest in mysteries and a long-time career in newspaper work combined to make an effective relationship when reviewing mystery books.  By taking available opportunities to provide local book reviews at newspapers, she was able to move to reviewing mysteries and to become a favorite with staff editors by offering compact, short reviews.

While reading, Macknee says the novels have to capture her interest very early on for her to continue on for a book review.  She has option to review books which interest her and to avoid the rest. Macknee skips Washington, D.C. stories and courtroom novels for instance.  On the writing side, she prefers to write positive reviews and to avoid "trashing" books.    

During the presentation Macknee mentioned how far along she was reading a few titles she had, adding she averages reading one or two novels per week.